Most manufacturers seemed happy to have an extra day during the now annual BBSI Show, claiming that it was time well spent. Quality beat out quantity as international distributors clogged the aisles. Attendees from Germany, Russia, Sweden, Czech Republic, Japan, England, and others met with manufacturers. “We only sold to two American accounts ... the rest were from parts of Europe and Asia,” says Marlene Sortino of Snails Italian Jewelry (Boca Raton, Fla.).
Kay Schoeneman, vice president of sales for Schoeneman Corp., became the first woman president of BBSI after volunteering her time for the past 10 years and serving on nearly every committee. OPI also kicked off its sponsorship of the American Basketball League (ABL), a women’s basketball league, at its annual breakfast honoring distributors.
A major event at the show was the City of Hope Spirit of Life Award presentation, honoring Jan Arnold and Jim Nordstrom of Creative Nail Design — the first time a nail company has ever been recognized — for their effort in raising more than $650,000 for breast cancer research, the most common cancer found in women. (See below for complete event coverage.)
Splendor in the Pink
While breast cancer has taken the lives of so many women, more survive the dreaded disease than ever before, thanks in part to the donation of funds for research and treatment (and a new bone marrow transplant technique). “Since 1960, breast cancer has claimed the lives of two times the number of American women as compared to the number of lives lost in the Korean War, World War II, Vietnam, and the Gulf War combined,” says Dr. Charles Balch, president and CEO of the City of Hope, which, along with the National Beauty Industry presented the Spirit of Life Award to Jan Arnold and Jim Nordstrom of Creative Nail Design on August 5.
The beauty industry has raised more than $2 million for the City of Hope, but this year’s donation of $650,000 not only exceeded the honorees’ goal, but was the biggest from the industry to date. Some of the largest fund-raisers were Creative’s own Hope polish campaign, which, aided by its distributors and nail technicians, raised $130,000; Sally Beauty’s canister campaign, which raised $40,000; and the “Days of Hope” events put on by 30 of Creative’s educators, who raised $30,000 collectively. “Nail technicians are the heartbeat of our business,” says Arnold in thanks. “They are beautiful, creative people.”
In typical Creative fashion, the night was punctuated by pink props (feather boas, glasses, bow ties, and top hats), gourmet food, and lavish decor. More than 850 attendees (the largest ever for the event) had the chance to bid on 73 different items during the special fund-raising silent auction. The evening was thoughtfully concluded by Pat Benatar, who played old favorites and turned pink to blue with rousing jazz numbers that had everyone dancing the night away.
OPI Proclaims 1997 a Slam Dunk
With a 20% increase in sales, OPI president George Schaeffer proclaimed 1997 a slam dunk during its second annua1 basketba1l-theme BBSI Breakfast. OPI’s All-Star Team of Million-Dollar Distributors had a good year too, shooting proverb “three-pointers” with sales that topped last year’s figures by 30%. Aerial Company, Armstrong-McCall, Davidson Beauty Supply, Maly’s of Michigan, Marshall Salon Services, Regis Corp., Schoeneman Beauty Supply, Slate Service Systems, and Victory Beauty Systems were rewarded with gold coins after shooting some hoops with Sylvia Crawley, Lisa Harrison, Valerie Still, Andrea Nagy, and Cass Bauer, all players of the all-female ABL.
OPI is still leading the fight against diversion and MMA, two major themes of the breakfast meeting. “Diversion is still alive and well,” warned Schaeffer, “and we will cut off our relationships with offending distributors who participate in it.” He also asked that nail technicians and distributors be patient, as fighting diversion properly requires long legal processes. But, he also pointed out that everyone must do their part. “If Wal Mart wants to sell OPI products, then shouldn’t salons be able to sell it?” asks Schaeffer.
Someone must be selling polish because salon retailing is up 23%, mainly due to the company’s Optimum Profits and Income Plan. With 98% of salons offering nail services, Schaeffer revealed that OPI has invested $3 million per year in consumer and trade advertising and sold more than 20 million bottles of its nail lacquer in 1997. “The Route 66 and Painted Desert collections brought the company’s highest sales to date. Even Wal Mart thought they were great,” he joked. “Our goal is to be a $100 million company.”
The company also plans to continue working with the FDA and state boards to help rid the marketplace of MMA. “MMA is giving the industry a black eye,” he says. “We have been losing significant market share to it, as much as 30%-50% [in 1997].” He expressed worry that consumers will have adverse reactions to MMA and will give up having any salon services again.
BBSI Inaugurates Schoeneman
BBSI’s 94th annual convention began with the inauguration of Kay Schoeneman as president of the association. She is also the first woman to take the helm of the organization in its nearly 100-year history. Fittingly, the ceremony took place as Schoeneman’s daughter Lori sang the national anthem to open the event.
“My top priorities for my term of office are getting our newest division, the ICE shows, up and running, growing the ACE Grant Program, and supporting the growth and development of The Salon Association,” she says. “These three priorities make up my major priority — improving our industry’s image.”
Steve Cohen, president of Premier Beauty Supply, and Rick Kornbluth, COO of Graham Webb International will join Schoeneman as newly appointed board members.
Up, Up, and Away
Nail technicians who purchased IBD’s Jet Dry Polish System from their distributor or sales rep before June 1998 were invited to fill out a JET airplane ticket in order to win one of three trips for two to exotic locales.
Winners were chosen by IBD’s top educators during an in-house training event and announced during a press conference at BBSI. Jamie Phelps of I Love My Nails salon in Colorado Springs, Colo., was the first prize winner of a seven-day, seven-night trip for two to Maui; Gail Blunt of the Sullivan School of Cosmetology in Bourbon, Mo., was the second prizewinner of a seven-day, seven-night trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; and Carol Manteste of “Hair We R” of Bunnell, Fla., was the third prize winner of a three-day, three-night trip for two to Paradise Island in the Caribbean. A representative and guest from each of the beauty distributors who sold the Jet Dry Systems will also be heading to paradise on identical trips for two from IBD. The winning salons’ distributors were Peak Nail Supply of Colorado Springs, Colo., J&J Beauty Supplies of St. Charles, Mo., and Ace Beauty Company of Largo, Fla., respectively.
That Face promotion, which raised money for the City of Hope. BBSI attendees paid $1 each to guess the names of the masked industry members, and Carolina matched the funds for a $220 donation. The contest also raised awareness of Carolina’s Earloop Face Mask, which helps protect nail technicians during nail services. Tracy Cavagnaro of Nailco Salon Marketplace correctly guessed 10 of the 11 and was named co-contributor on the donation to Janine McDonough, manager of the Positive Image Center.
Carolina also named Nailco Salon Marketplace as its 1997-1998 Distributor of the Year — the only time in company history that a distributor has been honored twice in a row. “The criteria for determining the award recipient includes growth, volume, and product line penetration,” says Kristel Dean, Carolina sales manager. “Nailco is an ideal business partner and their commitment to their vendors goes beyond the industry standard.”
Carolina also introduced Toe Rope, 100% cotton, disposable separators. The six-inch long strips allow nail technicians to offer clients a disposable option.
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